course thither, where we saw the appearance of land, all that night; and in thedawning of next day we might plainly discern that it was a land flat to our sight, andfull of boscage, which made it show the more dark. And after an hour and a half'ssailing, we entered into a good haven, being the port of a fair city. Not great,indeed, but well built, and that gave a pleasant view from the sea. And we thinkingevery minute long till we were on land, came close to the shore and offered to land.But straightway we saw divers of the people, with batons in their hands, as it wereforbidding us to land: yet without any cries or fierce- ness, but only as warning usoff, by signs that they made. Whereupon being not a little discomfited, we wereadvising with ourselves what we should do. During which time there made forth tous a small boat, with about eight persons in it, whereof one of them had in his handa tipstaff of a yellow cane, tipped at both ends with blue, who made aboard our ship, without any show of distrust at all. And when he saw one of our number present himself somewhat afore the rest, he drew forth a little scroll of parchment(somewhat yellower than our parchment, and shining like the leaves of writing-tables, but otherwise soft and flexible), and delivered it to our foremost man. Inwhich scroll were written in ancient He- brew, and in ancient Greek, and in goodLatin of the school, and in Spanish these words: "Land ye not, none of you, and provide to be gone from this coast within sixteen days, except you have further timegiven you; meanwhile, if you want fresh water, or victual, or help for your sick, or that your ship needeth repair, write down your wants, and you shall have that which belongeth to mercy." This scroll was signed with a stamp of cherubim's wings, notspread, but hanging down- ward; and by them a cross.This being delivered, the officer returned, and left only a servant with us to receiveour answer. Consulting hereupon among ourselves, we were much perplexed. Thedenial of landing, and hasty warning us away, troubled us much: on the other side,to find that the people had languages, and were so full of humanity, did comfort usnot a little. And above all, the sign of the cross to that instrument was to us a greatrejoic- ing, and as it were a certain presage of good. Our answer was in the Spanishtongue, "That for our ship, it was well; for we had rather met with calms andcontrary winds, than any tempests. For our sick, they were many, and in very illcase; so that if they were not permitted to land, they ran in danger of their lives."Our other wants we set down in par- ticular, adding, "That we had some little storeof merchandise, which if it pleased them to deal for, it might supply our wants,without being chargeable unto them." We offered some re- ward in pistolets untothe servant, and a piece of crimson velvet to be presented to the officer; but theservant took them not, nor would scarce look upon them; and so left us, and went back in another little boat which was sent for him.
Page 2of 29The New Atlantis by Francis Bacon11/4/2007http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/phl302/texts/bacon/atlantis.html